Breaking the Silence

2 Mar

Today I will break the longest silence that I’ve had on my blog. Honestly, I have not fallen off the planet, though it felt like I did for a while.  In the past few months I have made plenty of pies… and I’d like to share some of those photos with you now.


Putting the finishing touches on a pie.


Blanca at the tienda gets her Chocolate, Coconut and Banana Cream Pie


A Coconut Cream Pie for Florina


Coco and I delivered a Chocolate Cream Pie to Jose and Patty

As you can see, some of those pies were given away in Mexico. Yes, I was lucky to go to Barra de Navidad once again, this time with my kids, Alexandra and Coco. It was so good to see them enjoying the town that I have come to love and find that they are hoping to return. They were comfortable in this small fishing village and were embraced by the same people who have been kind to me.
Michaela, the pharmacist who lives a few doors down from our apartment sat and visited with us many times. She was thrilled to meet my kids and I was happy to see them enjoying her attention.  Then there was Ricardo, our friend who owns a taco stand. When he saw me a few weeks ago, his face brightened and he said, “It’s Karen Amarotico!” We are Facebook friends after all, but I haven’t seen him in a year, and I was touched that he remembered my name. Ricardo and his wife, Nacy, even invited us to their home for a private dinner. The chile rellenos filled with shrimp were delicious and I was so honored to be considered a part of their family!

And of course, we saw Jose of the Malecon. He’s no longer working in Barra, but rather in the neighboring town of Melaque. Last year, he’d asked me if I could bring him a guitar on my next visit and thanks to my good friend, Tim, I was able to do just that. Jose seemed completely amazed but very happy. It was fun to watch Jose and Coco take turns playing and singing and bridging the language barrier with music.

IMG_1028.JPGMe with Alexandra and Coco
This trip, my kids joined me because my marriage is over. (The details of the dissolution are not important.)  It’s not that I don’t want to be open about the pain and challenges of this phase, but I’m simply learning that my life is not going to be what it was… it will be brand new. And isn’t that what happens?  We think we know what’s coming… but we really don’t.  Yes, John Lennon, life is what happens while we are busy making other plans.  Life also throws curve balls now and then, and sometimes, life sucker punches us in the gut. The pain lessens over time… but it never goes away forever.

Clearly I am not alone in dealing with the pain of loss. It happens to all of us… and if we are open to sharing the pain, then maybe we can show others that while the pain is terrible, it is survivable. If anyone would care to offer the tips, strategies, or words of encouragement that helped them through a time like this, I would love to hear them. Thank you in advance for being willing to share. It means so much to me.

What is most important right now is to say thank you to the many friends and family that have come to my side to help me move forward. You all know who you are, and I am deeply grateful for your support during this difficult time.


I’d like to end with this quote from Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook post (following the death of her husband):

“I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. These past thirty days, I have spent many of my moments lost in that void. And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well.  But when I can, I want to choose life and meaning.”

And as for me, I would like to continue giving away pies.

19 Responses to “Breaking the Silence”

  1. Jackie March 2, 2017 at 5:11 PM #

    Love you Karen xoxo You are an amazing woman!

  2. Ellen March 2, 2017 at 5:21 PM #

    so true, and the wisdom and deep love of life, that’s known only to those who’ve known the pain, as well. God bless Karen!

  3. Gordon Haas March 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM #

    So Sorry to hear that you, like me, have been dealing with pain and loss in your life. So glad to know that you have found that the love of family (including Coco and Alexandra) and keeping active (baking pies, traveling, etc.) may not fix it, but sure do help. I’m still learning some of those lessons myself. P.S. Did you know that “pies” (pronounced pee-AYZ) is Spanish for “feet”? With Aloha, GORDON

  4. Mary Danca March 2, 2017 at 8:45 PM #

    Your heart is so big and wonderfully filled with many who love you and appreciate your wonder. I am honored to be your friend.

  5. Lynn Thompson March 3, 2017 at 7:28 AM #

    What a great way to resume your blog, with such heartfelt, rounded expressions of living life (on life’s terms, as some say). You are unusual in your clarity and your ability to share your feelings in this way. You are a gift of friendship to me.

  6. Kathy Cooper March 3, 2017 at 10:46 AM #

    Love all that you wrote, especially this “…I’m simply learning that my life is not going to be what it was… it will be brand new. And isn’t that what happens? We think we know what’s coming… but we really don’t.” So true and I will keep this in mind when future events don’t go like I think they should! BTW- loved your pie give away’s in Mexico:) Love to you!

  7. Chris March 3, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    Karen – Your blog posts are always an inspiration to me. May all the love and light that you shine upon the world shine back on you 🙂

  8. Don Stone March 3, 2017 at 4:07 PM #

    I’m so sorry to hear about your breakup and the resulting loss. You are truly one of the neatest women that I know and i wish you all the best. Healing yourself through giving pies is so unique and and truly wonderful

  9. Annette Lewis March 4, 2017 at 2:31 AM #

    My break up many years ago now crushed me. I was working at the time teaching speech and drama and directing plays. I longed for Mondays and hated Friday afternoons. Work got me through and looking back that break up gave me myself. I found myself, I now wouldn’t change that experience for anything, it took awhile to for the deep, desperate pain to go away, work and friends and, of course time made the pain go away. Blessings to you.

  10. Cheryl D. Garcia March 4, 2017 at 9:57 AM #

    May you always find strength and comfort in the many many friends who adore you and your genuine compassion. All you share with the world is a gift! ~BIG HUGS~

  11. Carol Doty March 4, 2017 at 12:24 PM #

    I’ve had many losses over the past 40+ years–my parents, my husband of 45 years, and many good friends. It took two years to begin to think clearly after Robert died, and more years when I suffered PTSD, but each time and with each loss I’ve learned to trust my process, which usually involves gardening, time alone on the Bandon beaches, hikes away from the Valley floor to quiet places, listening to good music and singing with others. Sometimes it moves slowly and sometimes it comes and goes in waves, but I usually learn again that I am emotionally strong and healthy.

  12. Carol Doty March 4, 2017 at 12:29 PM #

    I just want to add that I’ve followed you for several years, and I have no doubt about your strength and health. Best to you, Karen.

    • pieadaygiveaway March 5, 2017 at 8:10 AM #

      Thanks Carol… it’s nice to know that others see strength… it helps me to believe it’s true.

  13. Susan March 5, 2017 at 8:03 AM #

    Karen, I cannot even count the number of years it has been since we have last seen each other .. no matter. I am holding you and all your wonderful family close in my heart, and sending you much love and strength.

  14. Bea March 5, 2017 at 5:08 PM #

    God Bless You dearest Karen

    • pieadaygiveaway March 5, 2017 at 10:32 PM #

      Thank you so much Bea. I really appreciate you and Jim.

  15. Grace Gerdes March 8, 2017 at 11:00 PM #

    Well said Karen. My love, support and friendship is always there for you. Keep making your amazing pies and realize every day you wake up, you are bringing joys to someone around you. ❤

  16. Christina Perry May 4, 2017 at 11:24 PM #

    Dear Karen,
    I came across your card tonight. I moved to Phoenix a couple of years ago and I still going through things.
    Our boys go way back at Helman. Trevor and I often reflect on the Helman years. I’m so sorry to hear of your break up and the loss of your father. I still work at Helman as the cafeteria manager. I remember when you came by with a pie, thinking that you were gonna give it to Amy, but she was at another school. Therefore, I was the fortunate recipient that afternoon.
    Glad your still doing what you love. The kids look great. We will have to catch up soon on life events and happenings. Take care and I hope to see you soon.

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